Coming up to a year since I commenced the move to WordPress and I have a few thoughts for moto-bloggers considering the same. Every site I read prior suggested it was as easy as falling off a log and ‘you will wish you had done it years ago’. Well that is stretching the truth a little.
I am pleased with how much better I can present photos. Given this is a photo centric site in an age when something that can be explained in one sentence gets turned into 5 minutes of drivel on YouTube the importance of that should not be underestimated.
There was a fairly steep learning curve and it requires ongoing maintenance. That is ok for me since I have plenty of time, the blog is my hobby so I like tinkering with it. I also am comfortable in things like the command line interface of Linux having grown up with computers that used similar prior to Windows. But I don’ think the move is for everyone.
The thing that triggered the move for me was the loss of the offline editor Live Writer. I’d always found the inbuilt Blogger editor problematic with text formatting and photo placement. When it became clear early 2019 Google was ceasing support for Live Writer (and there was no alternative) I tried the inbuilt editor, found it unchanged in 13 years and along with the poor viewing experience on mobile devices and resizing of my photos by Google I decided to leave.
The move itself is not simple. Importing the posts gave me a mess that took at least 100 hours to partly sort out (still heaps to fix) and nothing is setup or working so you need to rebuild your site. I bought a template which forms the basis of how it looks to get me up and running quicker but you still need to learn a lot which I enjoyed but busy people may not.
WordPress has allowed me to offer a better mobile device viewing experience. I had felt that was important for a number of years since many people view everything on their phone now. And for desktop I also escaped the Blogger 1600 resolution image resizing. Let me explain – I was uploading full size using Live Writer and the images would display full resolution when clicked on for while then after a undetermined amount of time Google would resize the images back to 1600. They did this to every image in my blog a few years old back to about 2009 then prior to this the thumbnails have no larger image linked at all.
Few visitors will click to view your blog’s inline images full screen. But I write the blog entirely just to please myself. It’s my travel journal, a record of things I want to remember and I want to see all my photos full size. For other people it may be no issue at all.
Looks wise the custom Blogger template I was running last year gave me some of the design elements that people find attractive in WordPress such as slider images on home page screen and modern style layout. But no denying that WordPress has so many more things you can customize. Limited only by your imagination really.
To sum up then if you are ok with the limits that Blogger has, it’s editor, layout and image sizing then I would suggest it’s better for most to stay. The great thing with Blogger is everything is setup for you automatic and you need not give it a second thought. With WordPress you are running your own server with security and storage and backup your ongoing cost and responsibility. But on the flip side if your blog is a big part of your life and a hobby you really enjoy then moving to WordPress could be worth your effort.